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Museum of Broadcasting
Friday, December 1, 2017:  Mark toured Air Corps Aviation in Bemidji, MN.
This multiple award winning shop specializes in restoring vintage, mostly WWII, aircraft to full air worthiness.
They often start with airframes that are in terrible shape.  Rebuilding them is a real challenge at a high price.
The plan is to make them look and fly like new again in spite of what they look like when entering the shop.
On the left is an entrance point for a bullet with the exit shown in the right photo.  The plane and pilot survived to fly again.
There are blueprints for everything to make sure the aircraft is factory perfect when it leaves.
This airframe is sitting on a custom made jig to facilitate the restoration process.
Most aircraft parts are made of aluminum sub assemblies held together with rivets. 
The devices hanging off the aluminum are for holding rivets in position until they are all in and set. 
A chart show where every one is positioned.  These people are very precise in what they do. 
More aluminum parts going together by a craftsman.
This man was doing maintenance on a CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machine. 
These expensive devices machine parts to very tightly controlled dimensions.
Yes, human inspection of each part is required too.
This a Rolls-Royce Merlin aircraft engine.  A British design, it was manufactured  in the United states by Packard. 
The Merlin is a 12-cylinder, air cooled, design with 1400 horse power.  It gulps 60 to 120 gallons of aviation fuel per hour.
This design was used in North American P-51 Mustangs and the British the Avro Lancaster bombers, among others.
A Grumman TBF Avenger nearing completion.  This type plane flew off aircraft carriers, mostly in the Pacific during WWII. 
President H. W. Bush flew one of these in 1944.  He was shot down, then rescued to fly again. 
Bush served as President 1989 to 1993.
The Avenger has wings that fold so it can be put on an elevator to go below deck and serviced before the next flight.
Yes, that is a tail hook to catch lines on the landing deck.  Note, this one is from the USS Hornet, a famous ship from WWII.
The Hornet launched a B-25 raid on Japan in April 1942.  The event was chronicled in the movie, "30 Seconds over Tokyo."
Memorabilia around the shop.

Quote of the day:    A fascinating place to visit.   Mark    < Back to previous story Ahead to next story >

Questions, Comments?  Email Mark Persons  teki@mwpersons.com

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page last edited 12/10/2017